White After Labor Day
First, let me start off with…happy Labor Day! I’m sure we can all be thankful for the social and economic achievements of everyone who works and have worked their butts off in America. We all know our hard efforts deserve a holiday! Come to think of it, considering how hard we all work, I think we’ve also earned the freedom to express ourselves as we see fit fashionably. There’s no rules or laws in that, right? Oh, well, there’s that thing about not wearing any white after this last three day weekend of the summer. How did that come to be, anyway? We all kind of follow it along, assuming it probably means there’s no point in wearing the easily-soiled lighter shade in the colder, wetter months of Fall and Winter, or because white is of a lighter weight which is best for summer months. Fair enough, I guess. But really, is that it? I thought I’d look into this deeper to kind of break away from the typical obligatory blog post featuring bikinis, beach totes and coverups that I often see around holiday time (hey, no hate though! But don’t those work all summer long?), or the list of Labor Day sales…I admire anyone willing to do the research and list them all out though, phew! *wipes forehead*. I just enjoy perusing my always-full inbox for any cool sales my favorite brands or stores might be having (American Eagle always being one!).
While doing a little digging, I found just another reason why I think we all should ditch societal fashion norms and just wear what we please. I often feel this way anyway…the only time you’ll ever see me wearing something that’s deemed “in fashion” is when I decide I actually like it. Blindingly following trends saps individuality and makes things too predictable and boring, if you ask me. So here goes…apparently, the “no white after Labor Day” rule actually seems to be a snobby remnant of the upper class during the 1800s and early 1900s. Due to the unfortunate human nature to latch onto the esoterik in order to feel above others and compete with society in general, the elite back then tended to form several word-of-mouth fashion “rules” to identify themselves among others. As more and more people were gaining status and becoming millionaires and opportunity boomed, these “first come first serve” types formed even more of these rules, including the said subject of this post, to separate themselves from what they probably deemed as an influx of posers and stay competitive. (Mental Floss)
Very rarely is there actually a functional reason for a fashion rule” – Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (TIME).
However, then we come upon fashion icons like Coco Chanel, below. She was very well known to wear white year round in the 1920s. Rules? What rules? If anyone or anything was to show us that fashion is a personal choice, I’d say we have it right here. This article here from TIME was one of my sources, and it offers ideas from all sorts of people, whether or not they buy the ideas that it was a snobby “etiquette” thing, or because white is simply a summer color. There are a lot of theories out there, and still a bit of speculation…so since there is no hard written rule, and no reason in 2014 to offend anyone by strutting down the street after Labor Day wearing a white ensemble, let your style fly as you please!
I thought this was fairly amusing…below is an infographic from Buzzfeed, in case anyone is still confused as to whether or not they should wear white after Labor Day. It’s good to be informed (since internet snark doesn’t translate well, I’m joking..but not really)! Either way, according to the TIME article and my own observations (as well as yours, I’m sure), this ‘rule’ is definitely becoming more and more obsolete as the time goes by, ever since the 1960s and the counterculture movement. Emily Post’s Etiquette, 17th Edition, a fashion “Bible” if you will from 2004, gave the go-ahead, but sometimes we still can’t help but hearing this old-fashion reminder every time the holiday rolls around.
So happy Labor Day everyone! Be safe, have fun, enjoy the sun…and shop some cool white looks below.